Installing Tires on the Rear Axle

When tires are replaced in pairs, the new tires should always be installed on the rear axle, and the partially worn tires should be moved to the front. Driving with new tires on the rear axle can help the vehicle to maintain control on wet roads because the tires with deeper treads are more likely to resist hydroplaning.

When front tires have less tread than the tires on the rear axle, the vehicle is generally considered easier to control, since sliding would likely be the result of an understeer – which is easier for the driver to control by decreasing throttle. If worn tires are placed on the rear axle and a slide occurs, it’s likely the result of an oversteer (where the rear of the vehicle continues to move straight ahead). Oversteering is generally harder to recover from and decreasing throttle may actually amplify the negative effects of the oversteer.

Where Should One New Tire Be Placed?

Replacing a single tire on a vehicle can have an adverse effect on suspension, gear ratios, transmission, and tire treadwear. However, if replacing only one tire is unavoidable, the tires should be rotated so that the new tire is paired with the tire having the most tread depth of the other three and placed on the rear axle.

Mixing Different Tire Types

Unless recommended by your vehicle manufacturer, or if differing sizes came supplied as original equipment on your vehicle; tires of different size designations, constructions, and stages of wear may affect vehicle handling and stability. For best all-around performance, we recommend that all tires be of the same size, construction (radial, non-radial) and speed rating. If tires of different speed ratings are mounted on a vehicle, the same size, type and speed ratings need to be placed on the same axle. For assistance, find a store near you.

Using Radial Tires and Bias Tires

When radial tires are used with bias or bias belted tires on the same car, the radial tires must always be placed on the rear axle. Never mix radial and bias-ply tires on the same axle.

Replacing AWD Tires

If you are looking to replace all-wheel drive tires, we recommend replacing all four at once. While it may be tempting to replace only two at a time, mixing new and worn tires can create a size difference from front to back, which can lead to damage to your vehicle.

Find the Right Tires for Your Vehicle

Need help finding tires that fit your vehicle? Use our Tire Finder, and we’ll show you all Goodyear, Kelly and Dunlop tires that work for your vehicle. Or, you can search our network of trusted retailers to find a store near you.

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